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Cincinnati Organizers Demand More Legislator Attention On Menstrual Cycles

Rich Pedroncelli

Some Cincinnati community organizers are hosting a rally this weekend to destigmatize menstrual cycles and push for better access to feminine products.

University of Cincinnati sophomore and rally co-organizer Mia Slone says people were tight lipped about periods growing up. "I remember the stigma around having a period and how it was kind of whispered about and you weren't allowed to be proud to talk about it," she says. "Or you had to keep it a secret from your family. Where I'm from that was the case."

Organizers from across the city are urging the Ohio Senate to follow the House's unanimous support of a proposed bill to repeal the 'pink sales tax.'

Female-specific products like tampons, pads and other feminine products are taxed while other personal care items like toothpaste are exempt.

A similar proposal passed the House last year but died in the state Senate.

The Cincinnati group is pushing local legislators to offer free period products in prisons, schools and shelters.

Girl Health Period CEO Brittani Gray donates free feminine products to schools and other public spaces. She says repealing the 'pink sales tax' is helpful but doesn't eliminate the demand for access.  

"It does not matter about class," Gray says. " A menstrual cycle hits at any given time. You can be without that product and it is necessary that we provide that in our schools and in local businesses."

The event is part of a national movement for National Period Day.

The rally will be held Saturday at the Freedom Center from noon until 3:00 p.m.

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Ambriehl Crutchfield
Ambriehl is a general assignment reporter with interest in education and communities. She works to amplify underrepresented voices and advance daily news stories. She comes to WVXU with previous reporting experience at NPR member stations WBEZ in Chicago and WKYU in Bowling Green, Ky.